Janet Napolitano, Former U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, Governor of Arizona, and University of California President, Named to RAND Board of Trustees

For Release

June 14, 2021

Janet Napolitano, former U.S. secretary of Homeland Security, governor of Arizona, and president of the University of California system, was elected to the RAND Corporation Board of Trustees, RAND President and CEO Michael D. Rich announced today.

Janet Napolitano

Janet Napolitano

Photo by U.S. Department of Homeland Security

Napolitano was the first female secretary of homeland security and led the nation's efforts to protect against terrorist attacks, respond to natural disasters, and build domestic resiliency. Under her leadership the department made critical enhancements to aviation security, expanded programs to help identify foreign threats, and worked to create a humane enforcement system for immigration, including the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) initiative.

“I've long admired Janet's distinguished career in public service and welcome the wealth of experience she brings to the RAND Board of Trustees,” Rich said. “As a vocal advocate for higher education and diversity, her perspective will be invaluable as RAND works to address those and other critical public policy issues such as countering Truth Decay, redesigning institutions, and revitalizing communities.”

Napolitano was elected governor of Arizona in 2002 after serving as the state's attorney general and U.S. attorney for the district of Arizona. In her seven years as governor, she championed educational initiatives and bolstered the state's rainy-day fund, economic development, and tourism.

“As a former governor—the first to join RAND's Board of Trustees—Janet will bring enormous expertise on issues where the states play a central role and where federal-state relations are key,” Rich said.

In 2020, Napolitano joined the faculty of the Goldman School of Public Policy at the University of California Berkeley after serving as the president of the University of California system for seven years. While leading the UC system, she helped create the University Climate Change Coalition, a group of 18 leading North American research universities and systems working to help local communities achieve their climate goals. She advocated for building inclusive communities that garner strength from diversity and for her belief that higher education is a path to leadership and prosperity that should be open to all.

Napolitano received a J.D. from the University of Virginia School of Law and a B.S. in political science from Santa Clara University, where she was a Truman Scholar and the university's first woman valedictorian.

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